Related topics: nasa · solar system · planets · earth · saturn

A crystal ball into our solar system's future

Astronomers have discovered the very first confirmed planetary system that resembles the expected fate of our solar system, when the Sun reaches the end of its life in about five billion years.

Astronomers discover an inflated 'hot Jupiter'

Using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), astronomers have discovered a new inflated, low-density "hot Jupiter" exoplanet. The newly found alien world, designated TIC 257060897b, is about 50 percent larger ...

NASA's Lucy mission: A journey to the young solar system

NASA's Lucy spacecraft will launch in October 2021 on a 12-year journey to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids. The Lucy mission will include three Earth gravity assists and visits to eight asteroids.

NASA spacecraft takes a picture of Jupiter … from the Moon

You may know the feeling of seeing Jupiter through your own telescope. If it gives you the chills—like it does for me—then you'll know how the team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter felt when they turned their spacecraft ...

Extreme exoplanet even more exotic than originally thought

Considered an ultra-hot Jupiter—a place where iron gets vaporized, condenses on the night side and then falls from the sky like rain—the fiery, inferno-like WASP-76b exoplanet may be even more sizzling than scientists ...

Mushballs stash away missing ammonia on Uranus and Neptune

Mushballs—giant, slushy hailstones made from a mixture of ammonia and water—may be responsible for an atmospheric anomaly on Neptune and Uranus that has been puzzling scientists. A study presented by Tristan Guillot at ...

page 1 from 40

Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass slightly less than one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times more massive than all of the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian planets.

The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can reach an apparent magnitude of −2.8, making it on average the third-brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus. (Mars can briefly exceed Jupiter's brightness at certain points in its orbit.)

Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium; it may also have a rocky core of heavier elements. Because of its rapid rotation, Jupiter's shape is that of an oblate spheroid (it possesses a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator). The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries. A prominent result is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at least the 17th century when it was first seen by telescope. Surrounding the planet is a faint planetary ring system and a powerful magnetosphere. There are also at least 63 moons, including the four large moons called the Galilean moons that were first discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Ganymede, the largest of these moons, has a diameter greater than that of the planet Mercury.

Jupiter has been explored on several occasions by robotic spacecraft, most notably during the early Pioneer and Voyager flyby missions and later by the Galileo orbiter. The most recent probe to visit Jupiter was the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft in late February 2007. The probe used the gravity from Jupiter to increase its speed and adjust its trajectory toward Pluto, thereby saving years of travel. Future targets for exploration in the Jovian system include the possible ice-covered liquid ocean on the moon Europa.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA